Friday, December 1, 2023

DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Daniel Young

Daniel Young cover photo courtesy of Charlie Carroll

NHRA Division 2 Stock/Super Stock racer Daniel Young is in the DragChamp spotlight!

Division 2 terror Daniel Young has been racing for 13 years. During this time, the Lucas Oil sponsored racer has enjoyed a great deal of success including over 150 race wins and an IHRA World championship.

DragChamp Logo

With all his success, Daniel continues to pursue his dreams of winning a NHRA championship and pulling off a double at an NHRA event. Daniel races in the Division 2 Lucas Oil series were he enjoys the camaraderie and competition.

When asked why he races, Daniel admitted, “that feeling of winning there’s nothing like it and I try and soak up every single one cause ya never know which one might be your last or when the next one will happen.”

Learn more about Daniel Young in the following Q&A with DragChamp!

How long have you been racing?

I’ve been racing since 2006

How did you get introduced to the sport?

My father, Mark Young, threw me into a Jr. Dragster at Sunshine Dragstrip in March of 2006.

Which class or classes do you compete in?  Where do you normally race?

I currently race in Stock Eliminator but tend to race in both Stock and Super Stock. I have plans in the next season to redo the car and compete strictly in Super Stock.

I typically race in all of the Division 2 Lucas Oil Divisional and National events. My local tracks are Showtime Dragstrip and Bradenton Motorsports Park!

Tell us about your current race car.

Daniel Young Camaro

So I currently race my father’s ’94 Firebird in Stock Eliminator with an LT1 by Warren Engines but my own car is a ’95 Camaro with a LT1 by Warren Engines as well. We acquired the car in late 2015 from the Mesenbring family but the car used to be owned by Jeff Strickland. It’s currently the car I’m going to be switching over into strictly a Super Stocker in the following year! 

Please list your major racing accomplishments.

  • Starting in Juniors I won 8 track championships and over 150+ races in 8 years.
  • Finished 6th in the world in the DRR Series in 2009
  • Won the NHRA Eastern Conference Finals In 2010 in the 11 year old division
  • Won the 2012 10-12 NHRA Division 2 Race of Champions
  • Won the first-ever 2012 IHRA Division 2 Pro Am Masters Championship
  • Won the NHRA High School Race of Champions in 201
  • Won the 2016 NHRA Gatornationals in my first-ever National Event Final
  • 2016 IHRA Stock Eliminator World Champion
  • Multiple Top 10 NHRA Division 2 Stock Eliminator points finishes
Daniel Young Jr dragster Bristol

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

Biggest goals are to win an NHRA World Championship, winning a National Event in multiple classes, doubling up at a National/Divisional, and racing Top Alcohol Funny Car, Factory Stock, or a heads up class just once! 

What is your favorite race car, and why?

Race car? Some of the Stock and Super Stock guys with the older cars that are immaculate like Shane Oakes J/SA Wagon, Jerry Hatches SS/DA Orange Challenger, cars like that where the attention to detail and how clean they are is amazing!

Tell us what you do for a living?

I’m a Firefighter/EMT for Largo Fire Rescue where I’ll be soon becoming a Firefighter/Paramedic, I’ve been doing it for just under 2 years now. I’m a second generation Firefighter and am lucky enough to work at the same department as my dad. And on the same shift! 

How do you support your racing?

My racing operation is supported by hopes and dreams and a little bit of Oreos. Lucas Oil is my biggest sponsor and supporter, we’ve been with them since 2011 and just recently renewed our sponsorship with them for 2020.

I fund my own racing operation, I intend on becoming a Flats Fishing guide as a second job to the fire department. All the money I make from there goes towards my racing as well as support from my family for whatever I need!

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?

Absolutely no one, I’d rather race the big dogs all day. I told my dad once that, with the potential of sounding cocky. “There’s no one better than me until they prove me wrong.”

I think it’s a good mindset to have when you race those Dan Fletcher’s, Peter Biondo’s, Kevin Helm’s, etc. because they’re just like you and there’s no reason to get all flustered.

They bring the best out in me and that’s what I love about it because I know we’re about to tango and if I mess up I’m getting a good lesson. 

Daniel Young 30 under 30

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

Being fully prepared financially, logistically, etc. As racers, we always seem to be winging it but we’re all really good improvisers! Haha.

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?

I had a wasp fly into my helmet with the shield up on time years ago in my Junior. I was the next pair to roll into the water box at Immokalee and had my life flash before my eyes, long story short I didn’t get stung and he flew out!

What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?

Most of the time depending on what the deal is it’s just thinking about making sure my dial in is good. Also making sure we’re all good and just say “stare at the bottom, watch it come on.”

Most of the time I don’t have much going on though it’s just I’m focused and just worried about what’s in front of me, I try to think as little as possible and just drive the dang thing!

Daniel Young champ

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

The people, it’s different for everyone and I used to have fun doing some local racing but made the switch to typically only NHRA Divisional’s and Nationals and love all the guys and gals I’ve got to meet over the years. 

Are you superstitious? 

I guess in a way I am, my family knows me best. When the day’s going good and I’m going rounds, I have times where I get back from a run and do things in a particular order sometimes. But if it gets thrown off it doesn’t throw me off but I try and do the same thing the same way every time and keep everything the same.

Typically the thing I try and keep the same the most is right before I go to the lanes. I’ll hear the call, grab my headphones, play whatever songs I’m into that weekend, check my tires, turn on the Kestrel, sit and hit the practice tree some, go back out get an idea on what I wanna dial, take the battery charger and fan off, check the weather, then go up!

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

Love to win, losing is gonna happen and I hate it so, so much but I think about winning more than I think about losing. I’m always hungry for that feeling of sealing the deal in the final. That is what I crave the most. 

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?

Probably starting line. As of late I’ve been becoming a lot better at my finish line driving but the starting line is my biggest focus because that right there is where you set up the entire race and to me it’s one of the biggest parts of a run.

It really tells you how things are gonna go, so that’s why I try and watch the tree in my down time or hit the practice tree as much as I can. 

What motivates you to continue racing?

The never ending drive to be the best and win all these different races and challenging myself and having something different every race. That feeling of winning, there’s nothing like it. I try and soak up every single one because ya never know which one might be your last or when the next one will happen. 

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.

Well if I had a lot of money? As a true sportsman operation I’d have a bad to the bone SS/JA Camaro that was the fastest in the country like Lincoln Morehead or Larry Zavala’s old silver one.

Maybe a Modified Cobalt as well as a brand new top of the line Miller or Danny Nelson Dragster with an all aluminum 598 with SR20 heads painted by either Cody Phillips, Todd Zeller, or Jerron Settles.

A nice 32 ft tag trailer with extra height and a nice golf cart, along with just a decent motorhome to tow it. Or I’d just have the baddest TAFC in the country!

Daniel Young finish line

How often do you use a practice tree?

When it gets close to a race, a few times a week. When I’m at the track, I hit it at like 5-10 times before a run to stay fresh and put pressure on myself and put dial-in’s in to make it feel like how I’m about to feel. 

What is your daily driver?

2018 Dark Brown 1500 Chevy Silverado! 

Favorite movie or TV show?

I don’t have a specific movie or show but movies would be A Bronx Tale, Goodfellas, Talledaga Knights, and Animal House. TV series would be, Rick and Morty, Futurama, The Office, Stranger Things, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina! 

Favorite music, artist?

I don’t have a specific artist but I literally listen to anything from Metal, Jazz, Reggae, etc. but I love heavy rock and metal. The Amity Affliction is one of my favorites, A Day To Remember, Yung Gravy, Twenty One Pilots, Ice Nine Kills, Eminem, Logic, and Joyner Lucas. 

Where do you spend the most time on the internet?

Instagram probably or Reddit and Snapchat if that counts. 

Daniel Young Stock Firebird

What is your favorite sport?  Favorite team?

Hockey, Tampa Bay Lightning and College Football, Georgia Bulldogs are what I mainly watch and who I like. 

Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?

I play video games ALOT and stream on Twitch and fish A LOT! 

What are you really good at?

I think I’m pretty good at fishing, It’s my absolute passion and I take pride in it and knowing everything I can. 

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

I have 5 tattoos on my body currently and am obsessed with them and have plans on getting a sleeve on my leg and arm in the future. 

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?

Oh a quiet night at home all day. I have a pretty broad and weird personality when it comes to stuff like that but I love sitting and playing video games with my friends . That’s an ideal relaxing night to me or sitting outside and chilling when the weather is nice. 

Daniel Young jr dragster

What’s your favorite thing to eat?  Individual item, meal, or restaurant?

I love Mexican food and anything with rice, especially white rice. I love to eat, Tacos, any of that is good to me!

Who would you like to thank?

I can’t thank the good Lord above for everything he’s blessed me with, all the people who’ve stood by me and supported me.

Lucas Oil, Warren Engines, Joel, Joey and Jeff Warren, my mom, dad, brother for always keeping me straight and taking care of me. And all of the people, who know who they are, that have helped me through the years, been there for me, and supported me.

It’s been a blessing of a racing career so far and I’m just getting started. Special thanks to DragChamp for this opportunity and love what you’re doing for the sport!

Thanks to Daniel Young for participating in the DragChamp racer spotlight. For more NHRA sportsman drag racing news and drag race results, click here.

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